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Published: 01 October 1998

276 Pages | 3 black and white halftones


ISBN: 9780198184911

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Love's Madness

Medicine, the Novel, and Female Insanity, 1800-1865

Helen Small

Clarendon Press

  • Discusses well-known works by Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, and Sir Walter Scott, as well as neglected writings by Charles Maturin, Lady Caroline Lamb, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, and others
  • Explores a popular subject at the heart of current debates in feminist criticism
  • Makes an important new contribution to the interdisciplinary study of insanity
  • Challenges previous assumptions about the relationship between medicine and the novel
  • '[traces] a positive narrative through the parallel fields of literature and medical history ... arguing that as the scientists searched for new methods of care, the novelists sought to revivify worn-out images of love-lorn women. ... Perhaps the most valuable part of Small's study is the analysis of the medical writings of the period. Beside Austen, Scott, Brontë and Collins come Morison, Cox, Connolly and Maudsley, whose texts reveal not only a similarly varied attitude towards women and madness, but also a complicated relationship with the literary representations of mental illness.' Times Literary Supplement

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